Yesterday, I visited Everton's ancient Goodison Park stadium for the very first time to see Hull City play the mighty Toffees in the nation's top division. We caught the "Soccerbus" from Sandhills station. I saw the great bronze statue of legendary striker Dixie Dean just outside the ground before we entered the ancient stadium. My seat was in the Upper Bullens stand on the back row - seat S55. A bloody awful position even though the ticket cost me £34. My view of the pitch was slightly obscured by pillars and the cantilevered construction.
Everton won 2-0. Felliani's opening goal was clearly offside and the second - a brilliantly taken free kick by the Spaniard Arteta -should never have even been awarded by the Scouse referee who made a series of dodgy decisions in Everton's favour. Why did he keep listening to the protests and perpetual arguing of the Everton players? And why could he not see that there was a pattern to any physical challenges upon Everton players - fall over, writhe around for two minutes, get the free kick and then - miraculously get up as right as ninepence. Bloody actors! However, I must admit that The Tigers didn't really trouble keeper Tim Howard all game and we are now very much in the business of surviving.
Liverpool is home to 435,000 Scousers but in 1931 it had a population of 846,000 and was Britain's second city. You can see its past greatness in its architecture and in the character of Liverpudlian people. It was a bitterly cold day but after alighting from our Trans-Pennine train in Lime Street Station, we headed for the waterfront and the refurbished Albert Dock where we ate lunch at The Ha Ha! Bar (I wouldn't recommend it). It was frustrating not to have enough time to visit the Slavery Museum or the Walker Art Gallery or the shops in the latest retail development - Liverpool One. Perhaps we will have to come again.
We spoke to several Liverpudlians. What an amazing and unique accent they have! Of course, educated Liverpool people like Willy Russell or Phil Redmond have tempered their accents but speak to an ordinary working class Liverpudlian and what they say is verging on the unintelligible!
Albert Dock looking towards the Liver Building